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TD Ameritrade Institutional Supports Bills That Benefit Individual Investors, Small Businesses and Independent RIAs

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As SEC Readies for Vote on Regulation BI, RIA Advocate Skip Schweiss
Heads to Capitol Hill to Meet Policymakers

JERSEY CITY, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$AMTD #Advocating4you–Investing for retirement has never been more critical, but some current
policies create roadblocks for investors, small businesses, and the
independent registered investment advisors (RIAs) who guide them. As
Congress considers legislation to help address the nation’s retirement
savings crisis, TD
Ameritrade Institutional
1 reiterates its support for
proposals that help investors plan and save for their long-term
financial goals.

Skip Schweiss, Managing Director of Advisor Advocacy and Industry
Affairs for TD Ameritrade Institutional, is meeting with members of
Congress and their staffs in Washington this week and next to raise
awareness on a range of issues impacting investors and independent RIAs.
On June 5 and 6, Schweiss will join other Financial
Planning Association
members and industry leaders on Capitol Hill.
On June 13, he’ll take to the Hill again as a participant in the Investment
Adviser Association
’s Advocacy Day. TD Ameritrade Institutional is a
sponsor of both of these events.

Tax reform, SEC regulation and advisor oversight, investor protections,
small business access to retirement plans, restoration of the investor
deduction for advisory fees, extension of the pass-through deduction for
RIA firms, and cybersecurity are just a few of the items that will be
discussed.

“TD Ameritrade Institutional for 15 years has proudly stood and fought
at the side of RIAs. We come to Washington to help make their voices
heard on policies and rules that can impact their clients and their
firms,” said Schweiss. “Investing for their retirement, for one, is
critical for American families and for our country as a whole. We should
make it easier, not more difficult, for investors to pursue their
financial goals.”

The U.S.
Government Accountability Office
recently reported that roughly half
(48%) of households headed by someone 55 years of age or older have no
retirement savings.2 And earlier this year, the National
Institute on Retirement Security
found that the typical retirement
account balance is $40,000.3

Schweiss goes to Washington just as Congress takes up two bills related
to retirement savings: the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act of
2019 (RESA), in the Senate, and the Setting Every Community Up for
Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019, which passed in the House
of Representatives on May 23. Both bills would, among other things,
raise the required minimum distribution age from 70½ to 72, enable small
businesses to work together to form multi-employer 401(k) plans and make
part-time workers eligible for retirement benefits.

Reg BI Up for SEC Vote on June 5

RIAs are meeting lawmakers at a historic moment.

On June 5, the SEC Commissioners are set to vote on one of the most
significant proposed regulatory changes in decades: Regulation Best
Interest (Reg BI) 4, proposed in April 2018, which would
establish new standards for brokers making investment recommendations as
part of a package of new rules to be applied to brokers and investment
advisors.

Also on June 5, the SEC Commissioners will vote on whether to publish an
interpretation of the “solely Incidental” language found in the
Investment Advisers Act of 1940. This interpretation was not part of the
April 2018 proposals.

Advisors have mixed views of the proposed regulation. A recent survey of
independent RIAs5 conducted for TD Ameritrade Institutional
found that though half (51%) say they do not have strong opinions on the
SEC’s Reg BI as proposed, 35 percent say they are in favor of it, while
14 percent are opposed. But if Reg BI as proposed were enacted, roughly
half (48%) of RIAs expect business will continue as usual.

RIAs accept some aspects of the SEC’s proposed Reg BI but are lukewarm
on others. More than seven in 10 agree with introducing licensing and
continuing education requirements for RIAs, and 85 percent believe RIA
clients should receive periodic statements showing fees. On the other
hand, 45 percent disagree with imposing minimum capital requirements on
RIA firms, and 69 percent oppose RIA fidelity bonding requirements.

“Regulations can impact the ability of thousands of independent advisors
to compete in the marketplace, yet most RIA firms are small businesses
that need to focus on serving their clients,” said Schweiss. “We come to
Washington to amplify their voices and look out for their interests. We
also continue to tell policymakers that investors are better served by
rules that offer strong protections in the financial markets and
increase access to independent investment advice.”

The survey conducted for TD Ameritrade Institutional also found that
independent RIAs consider regulatory issues to be their top management
challenge. Advisors also say that, second only to technology, their
biggest spending increases year after year are on managing regulatory
and legal issues.

To learn more about TD Ameritrade Institutional’s RIA advocacy efforts,
please visit https://www.tdainstitutional.com/why-ria/advocacy.html

About TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation

TD Ameritrade provides investing
services
 and education to
more than 11 million client accounts totaling approximately $1.3
trillion in assets, and custodial
services
 to more than 7,000 registered investment advisors. We are a
leader in U.S. retail trading, executing an average of approximately
850,000 trades per day for our clients, more than a quarter of which
come from mobile devices. We have a proud history
of innovation
, dating back to our start in 1975, and today our team
of 10,000-strong is committed to carrying it forward. Together, we are
leveraging the latest in cutting edge technologies and one-on-one client
care to transform lives, and investing, for the better. Learn more by
visiting TD Ameritrade’s newsroom at www.amtd.com,
or read our stories at Fresh
Accounts
.

About TD Ameritrade Institutional

TD
Ameritrade Institutional
empowers more than 7,000 independent
registered investment advisors to transform the lives of their clients.
It provides powerful technology and resources that help simplify running
a business and let advisors spend more time doing what matters most —
serving their clients. Through meaningful innovation, steadfast advocacy
and unwavering service, TD Ameritrade Institutional supports RIAs as
they build businesses that positively impact their clients and
communities. TD Ameritrade Institutional is a division of TD Ameritrade,
Inc., member FINRA/SIPC, a brokerage subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding
Corp.

Brokerage services provided by TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA (www.FINRA.org)
/ SIPC (www.SIPC.org).

1 TD Ameritrade Institutional is a division of TD Ameritrade,
Inc., a brokerage subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation
2
Retirement
Security: Most Households Approaching Retirement Have Low Savings
,
U.S. Government Accountability Office, March 26, 2019
3 Retirement
Insecurity 2019
, National Institute on Retirement Security, March
2019
4 SEC
Open Meeting Agenda
, Wednesday, June 5, 2019, Securities and
Exchange Commission
5 2019
RIA Sentiment Survey
, TD Ameritrade Institutional, January 2019

Source: TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation

Contacts

Media Contact:
Joseph A.
Giannone
Communications + Public Affairs
T: 201-369-8705
joseph.giannone@tdameritrade.com

Cannabis

Valens expands Exclusive Licence Agreement to Bring Leading Cannabis-Infusion Technology to New International Markets

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Valens GroWorks Corp. (TSXV: VGW) (OTCQX: VGWCF) (the “Company” or “Valens“), a cannabinoid-based product company with industry leading extraction, next generation cannabinoid delivery formats and an ISO 17025 accredited analytical lab, is pleased to announce that it has entered an amended manufacturing and sales licence agreement with SōRSE Technology Corporation (“SōRSE“) which grants Valens an exclusive licence for CanadaEuropeAustralia and Mexico to use the proprietary SōRSE emulsion technology (“the Technology“) to produce, market, package, sell and distribute cannabis-infused products (the “Agreement“).

“This Agreement shows Valens’ commitment to invest and broaden its IP portfolio and enable its customers to bring differentiated, next generation products to market,” said Jeff Fallows, President of Valens. “As we move into “Cannabis 2.0” in Canada, we believe the products that offer consistent, high quality and predictable user experiences, like those we are able to create with SōRSE, will capture the lion’s share of attention and be the hallmark for brand development in a strict regulatory environment. With this expanded agreement in place, we have extended this opportunity for our existing customers to key international markets and at the same time established a platform for international consumer brands to add high quality, cannabis infused products to their portfolios.”

The SōRSE Emulsion Technology

The SōRSE emulsion technology transforms cannabis oil into water-soluble forms for use in beverages, edibles, topicals and other consumer products without the burden of cannabis taste, colour or smell. The Technology allows these cannabis infused products to maintain potency when heated, chilled or frozen and provides a number of other key advantages as well, including: (1) a faster observed onset time compared to other infused beverages and edibles, (2) a significant reduction of offset time, (3) an ability to use lower doses of cannabinoids due to the enhanced bioavailability provided by the Technology, and (4) increased consistency and stability with some product formulations achieving more than one-year shelf stability with no evidence of separation.

“We are proud to expand our partnership with Valens and leverage their near-term access to various global markets,” says Howard Lee, CEO of SōRSE. “Over the last year, our team of more than 40 plus professionals has continued to actively focus on creating and developing innovative, desirable products and formats of consumption for cannabis consumers. As emulsion technology becomes more popular through new delivery methods such as ingestion, transdermal, topical and more, it is imperative that quality and safety in consumption leads all innovation in this sector. This is a shared value and mandate that our teams at SōRSE and Valens both prioritize. We look forward to continuing this working relationship with Valens and introducing our award-winning emulsion technology to the global markets.”

Geographic Expansion

The Agreement grants Valens an exclusive licence to use the Technology in CanadaEuropeAustralia and Mexico (except in respect of medical applications requiring clinical trials) during the initial 5-year term, subject to certain performance milestones. This increases the addressable market from 37 million in the current Canada only agreement to 700 million people in the new Agreement, an increase of almost 20x. Furthermore, the Agreement provides a framework for Valens to obtain rights to establish non-exclusive agreements to sell cannabis-infused products using the Technology in the U.S. market and other markets, globally.

Bolstering “Cannabis 2.0” Platform

With the expanded exclusivity, Valens and its white label clients are positioned to not only succeed in the Canadian market, but also in the rapidly emerging legal cannabis and hemp-derived CBD markets in EuropeAustraliaMexico and beyond. The Agreement adds to the Company’s leading white label product offerings across numerous “Cannabis 2.0” categories such as beverages, edibles, transdermal products and more, enabling Valens to better serve its current and future partners.

“We have seen incredible interest from our current and potential clients regarding the SōRSE emulsion technology and we are thrilled to finalize the expanded licence agreement with SōRSE,” said Tyler Robson, CEO of Valens. “We expect the expanded exclusive territory will provide our clients with improved visibility and greater opportunity as they look to build global businesses around cannabis-infused products over the long term.

This is an exciting time in the evolution of ingestible cannabis products such as beverages and edibles. Historically, ingestible products have been lacking the necessary technology to provide a consistent, predictable experience, ultimately giving little reason to consume in this manner. At Valens, we expect that properly formulated, extract-based cannabis products, and infused beverages in particular, could disrupt many established beverage categories such as soft drinks, sports drinks, value-added water and alcohol, the latter of which has a monthly spend per capita that is roughly 16 times higher compared to legal cannabis spend in Canada. We believe the ability to plan an occasion and predict the outcome of use will be a game changer in the market and be the catalyst to bring about the full market potential of cannabis infused beverages and edibles, globally.”

Future White Label Services

The Agreement furthers the existing relationship between Valens and SōRSE and enables Valens to produce and sell SōRSE’s portfolio of branded products in Canada and the other exclusive markets at the option of the Company. These branded products include Happy Apple, a cannabis-infused sparkling cider and Major, a cannabis-infused fruit drink, both recognized as top selling cannabis beverages in the State of Washington, Pearl20, a cannabis-infused food and beverage mixer, and the Utopia line of cannabis-infused sparkling water, among others.

Agreement Summary

The consideration at closing for the exclusivity in the expanded geography was US$10 million, comprised of US$6 million in cash and US$4 million to be issued in common shares of the Company (the “Common Shares“). The Agreement carries an initial 5-year exclusive term with a 2-year renewal of the exclusivity, subject to certain performance milestones related to operational and financial achievements (the “Milestones“). As part of the Agreement, Valens will transfer to SōRSE royalty payments calculated as a percentage of sales (the “Royalty Payments“) and the Royalty Payments will be subject to an annual minimum of $2 million over the 5-year term. The Agreement also provides for a continuation of the Agreement on a non-exclusive basis after the 2-year renewal, subject to annual minimum royalty payments.

All Common Shares pursuant to the Agreement were issued at an indicative price of CDN$3.0471, being the volume-weighted average price of the Common Shares on the TSX Venture Exchange (“TSXV“) for the ten (10) trading days ending December 9, 2019. The Agreement remains subject to approval from the TSXV. All Common Shares issued in connection with the Agreement will be subject to a restricted period of four months and one day. There are no finders’ fees payable by the Company in connection with the Agreement.

 

SOURCE Valens GroWorks Corp.

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Cannabis

Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. Reminds Investors That Class Action Lawsuits Have Been Filed Against Energy Transfer LP, Grubhub, Aurora Cannabis, and The RealReal and Encourages Investors to Contact the Firm

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Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C., a nationally recognized shareholder law firm, reminds investors that class action lawsuits have been commenced on behalf of stockholders of  Energy Transfer LP (NYSE: ET), Grubhub, Inc. (NYSE: GRUB), Aurora Cannabis, Inc. (NYSE: ACB), and The RealReal, Inc. (NASDAQ: REAL). Stockholders have until the deadlines below to petition the court to serve as lead plaintiff. Additional information about each case can be found at the link provided.

Energy Transfer LP (NYSE: ET)

Class Period: February 25, 2017 to November 11, 2019

Lead Plaintiff Deadline: January 20, 2020

On November 12, 2019, the Associated Press reported that Energy Transfer’s Mariner East pipeline project was under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”). Citing interviews with current and former state employees, the Associated Press reported that the FBI’s investigation “involves the permitting of the pipeline, whether [Pennsylvania Governor Tom] Wolf and his administration forced environmental protection staff to approve construction permits and whether Wolf or his administration received anything in return.”

On this news, Energy Transfer’s stock price fell $0.81 per share, or 6.77%, over the following two trading sessions, closing at $11.16 per share on November 13, 2019.

The complaint, filed on November 20, 2019, alleges that throughout the Class Period, defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Energy Transfer’s permits to conduct the Mariner East pipeline project in Pennsylvania were secured via bribery and/or other improper conduct; (ii) the foregoing misconduct increased the risk that the Company and/or certain of its employees would be subject to government and/or regulatory action; and (iii) as a result, the Company’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

 

SOURCE Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C.

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Cannabis

iX Biopharma secures Australian cannabis manufacture licence

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Specialty pharmaceutical company iX Biopharma Ltd (SGX:42C) (“iX Biopharma” or, together with its subsidiaries, “the Group”) is pleased to announce today that its wholly-owned subsidiary, iX Syrinx (“Syrinx”), has been awarded a cannabis manufacture license from the Australian Office of Drug Control under the Narcotics Drugs Act 1967. Under the said licence, the Group is permitted to manufacture and supply extracts and tinctures of cannabis and cannabis resins.

This marks a significant milestone for the Group. Syrinx operates a TGA cGMP certified facility and holds import and export licences for cannabis and State poisons licences; together with the newly granted cannabis manufacture licence, the Group is now able to fully participate in the global medicinal cannabis business.

Importantly, the Group will be able to manufacture and distribute its newly formulated Xativa™ sublingual cannabis wafers in Australia through the Australian Special Access Scheme and in overseas markets. Xativa™ leverages on iX Biopharma’s novel and patented WaferiX™ technology to improve the speed and level of absorption and predictability of effect of medicinal cannabis. Xativa™ provides patients with a more elegant and discreet way to consume medicinal cannabis compared to existing dosage forms for cannabis such as joints, vapes and tinctures, and hence offers a superior user experience. The Group has received feedback from physicians in Australia that the advantages of Xativa™ and its differentiation from the rest of the market offerings are clear and highly desired.

Produced via iX Biopharma’s proprietary freeze-drying technique, the porous and amorphous WaferiX™ matrix holding the active CBD molecules is designed to collapse quickly within the sublingual space. The actives are then transported rapidly across the sublingual membrane into the blood vessels for a rapid onset of action.

“Globally, the use of cannabis for the treatment of a wide range of medical conditions has been growing at an exponential pace. The grant of the cannabis manufacturing licence has come at a most opportune time, allowing us to manufacture, distribute and promote Xativa™ as the gold standard in medicinal cannabis delivery, thereby charting a new growth trajectory for the Group,” said Ms Eva Tan, Director of Corporate and Commercial Strategy of iX Biopharma.

 

SOURCE iX Biopharma Ltd

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